Ringgit closes at 17-month high against dollar

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 — The ringgit closed at a 17 month-high of 3.9950/0000 against the US dollar, a level last seen on Aug 16, 2016, boosted by the recovery in oil prices coupled coupled with rising optimism over robust global growth for this year.

Upbeat economic data released this week particularly in the United States, Europe and China and the recent influx of foreign funds into the domestic equity market was was also supportive of  renewed confidence in the country's economy.

The local note finished 100 basis points or 0.25 per cent better versus Thursday's 4.0050/0080.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd Research Head Pong Teng Siew said the market saw foreign fund inflow after Bank Negara Malaysia hinted at a rate hike during its Monetary Policy Committee meeting in November.

"Regionally, the ringgit has outperformed its peers including the Thai Bhat.

“In my view, I believe the ringgit will undergo profit-taking after a rally, but movements will be confined within a narrow range of between 4.06 and 4.07.

“That's the lowest level it will go. Overall, there is still more room for the ringgit to appreciate,” he told Bernama. 

Traders also said the local currency was fundamentally strong just as the Thai Bhat.

The ringgit also improved against a basket of major currencies.

It climbed against the Singapore dollar to 3.0081/0123 from Thursday's 3.0129/0156 and rebounded vis-a-vis the yen to 3.5279/5333 from 3.5584/5614 yesterday. 

The local unit appreciated against the euro to 4.8116/8192 from yesterday's 4.8228/8280 and rose versus the British pound to 5.4048/5132 from 5.4240/4296 yesterday. — Bernama

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